A Simple Summer Fish Recipe: Easy Cod and Tomato Stew

This summer fish recipe is my favourite thing to make when I want a light fish supper and I’ve got lots of peak-season tomatoes on hand.

a bowl of summer fish stew on a blue table

The juiciest tomatoes, white wine, plus briny olives and capers simmer together to make the most insanely flavourful stewy broth. This easy summer fish recipe can be made in under 10 minutes!

This is hands down my favourite summer fish recipe. It’s super flavourful, has only 7 ingredients, and is light enough to eat every single day through the summer months.

What you’ll need to make this recipe:

  • Fish: I usually use white, firm, fleshy fish like cod or halibut for this, but you could do it with salmon too. Black cod is also a nice option.
  • Tomatoes: This is an awesome recipe to make when you have access to lots of juicy peak summer tomatoes, but it works really well with canned tomatoes too.
  • White wine: Optional, but nice.
  • Onions: I like to use fresh green onions here for the pops of colour, but any onion will do.
  • Capers: For brininess and Mediterranean vibes.
  • Olives: More brininess and more vibes.
  • Lemon: I like to zip this up with a squeeze at the end, but it’s totally optional.
  • Pantry Staples: Olive oil and salt

How to make this easy summer fish recipe

a pot of summer fish stew

Follow these easy steps to make this deliciously brothy and flavorful fish dinner.

  1. Heat some olive oil in a shallow, heavy bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  2. Chop the onions and add them to the pot
  3. Roughly chop the tomatoes and add them to the pot as well as a hefty pinch of salt
  4. Add a big glug of white wine to the pot and simmer for 3-5 minutes until the tomatoes start to break down.
  5. Taste the tomato mixture to make sure it’s seasoned nicely. Once satisfied, drop the fish pieces in so that they are partially submerged in the tomato mixture. Cover with a lid and allow to steam for 4-5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish.
  6. Check to see if your fish is cooked through. I do this by inserting a knife into the thickest part of the fish, and if I can do so without any resistance whatsoever, it’s done.
  7. Squeeze the lemon into the pot and serve in bowls with chunks of fresh bread and a glass of wine on the side.
a bowl of tomato caper olive fish stew with bread

Tips for success

These success tips will help ensure this easy summer fish recipe works out for you.

  1. If your fish pieces vary in size and shape, put the thickest ones into the tomato mixture first, and add the thinner pieces several minutes later to ensure even cooking.
  2. Use a dry white wine here, because it’s just better. Use something you’d be happy to drink. I tend to stick with Pinot Gris or Sauvignon Blanc.
  3. Be careful with the salt at the beginning, as capers and olives are both salty and you could easily overdo it.
  4. If you’re not using peak season tomatoes, don’t substitute them with sub-par, out-of-season tomatoes. Instead, use canned tomatoes.
  5. If you don’t use wine but you still feel like you need a bit more liquid in the pot, add a splash of chicken stock or water.

What goes well with this?

This summer fish recipe is so packed with flavour that all you need to serve with it is something neutral to soak up the juices. I like a big hunk of bread, but you could also serve it with rice or boiled new potatoes. To drink – chilled white wine (maybe the same one you used to cook it), or a glass of ice cold beer is just the thing.

Storage, freezing, and reheating tips

This recipe is best enjoyed immediately, especially the fish part. But if you have leftovers of the tomato mixture, it makes a delicious sauce to toss that with some pasta the next day. Top your caper/olive/tomato pasta with a few crumbles of feta cheese or some grated parmesan and you’ve got a leftover makeover that will please everyone.

If you do happen to have fish leftover, you can still enjoy it the next day or the following day. Store it in the fridge in an airtight food storage container and it’ll be great.

Be careful if you are reheating it as it is likely to overcook. Avoid using the microwave for this reason. Instead, just pour your leftovers into a small pot and heat gently on the stove until it’s heated through.

I wouldn’t recommend freezing any part of this recipe because the fish would certainly develop a weird texture and the tomato stew would lose it’s fresh zippy flavour.

Frequently asked questions

Q: I’m afraid of fish bones. How should I handle that?

A: Yep, bones can be pesky. I usually ask the fish counter people to yank them out if there are any, but I also have fish tweezers at home in case they miss any. You can usually feel them with your fingers if there are any! But yeah, sometimes you still get one or two and it’s just the way the cookie crumbles.

Q: How do I know what kind of fish to buy?

A: When shopping for fish or any seafood, it’s important to choose sustainable options. If you have a local fish store that cares about sustainability, they will likely be a very good resource for you. When shopping, even at the fish counter of your regular grocery store, don’t be afraid to ask questions about how particular fish have been raised and which fishing practices have been used. The Oceanwise program is a great place to learn more.

Q: Don’t you have to peel the tomatoes?

A: Nope. Peeled tomatoes are for fussy people, which I am not. But, you do you.

Still hungry? I hear ya.

If you love this easy summer fish recipe, you’ll want to try these other simple summer dinner ideas:

This is seriously one of my favourite fish recipes ever. Bonus: it’s low carb and generally nice and light. It is such a delicious and healthy dinner. I hope you like it! Let me know how it goes.

A Simple Summer Fish Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Recipe by Paula Hingley Difficulty: Easy
Servings

2

servings
Prep time

5

minutes
Cooking time

10

minutes

This is one of my favourite ways to cook fish. Especially when there are tons of peak season summer tomatoes available. It’s a deliciously light summer fish recipe that will come together in about 10 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil

  • 3 each green onions

  • 500 grams tomatoes (2 cups)

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 100 millilitres white wine (1/3 cup)

  • 50 grams green olives (1/4 cup)

  • 30 grams capers (3 Tbsp)

  • 1 each lemon

  • 300 grams fish (2 portions)

Directions

  • Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottomed shallow pot or Dutch oven
  • Chop the onions and add them to the pot
  • Roughly chop the tomatoes and add them to the pot as well as the salt
  • Add the white wine to the pot and simmer for 3-5 minutes until the tomatoes start to break down.
  • Reduce the heat to medium and add the fish pieces in so that they are partially submerged in the tomato mixture. Cover with a lid and allow to steam for 4-5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish.
  • Check to see if your fish is cooked through. I do this by inserting a knife into the thickest part of the fish, and if I can do so without any resistance whatsoever, it’s done.
  • Squeeze the lemon into the pot and serve in bowls with chunks of fresh bread and a glass of wine on the side.

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